Honoring The Continued Ken Anderson Debate; Michael Johnson Offseason And Contract Year Could Mean Something

Jan 24, 1982; Detroit, MI, USA; FILE PHOTO; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson (14) at the line of scrimmage against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XVI at the Silverdome. The 49ers defeated the Bengals 26-21. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

We'll get to our Banter of the day in a moment. But first, the video Anthony posted on Tuesday, only because we want to watch it again.

+ Another Ken Anderson not in the Hall of Fame discussion is taking place and frankly we'll honor anyone that makes the worthy debate that we feel is as much an injustice as it the absence of the Hall of Fame's mandate to tell a story about the history of Pro Football. Yet so often that burdens someone of my age, with an unquenchable desire to learn more about our franchise's history, I was unfortunate to have missed a majority of his career. My generation grew up with the Boomer Esiason era, another great Bengals quarterback dominating the discussions with Pro Bowlers and postseason glory, which prematurely ended at the conclusion of Paul Brown's legendary life.

We brought up the discussion back in 2010. We further pointed that out prior to the 2011 NFL draft when he named Ken Anderson the No. 6 best draft pick in franchise history. Last year Cold Hard Football Facts called his omission an injustice. Peter King even got involved, comparing Anderson's postseason career to Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino -- but we should add he didn't compare the two careers as a whole, which is significant. A Bengals fan named David Kubicki made a courageous effort to promote Anderson's career in the hopes to get him in the Hall, telling our own Jason Garrison last year:

Anderson's career numbers, even with those "lost years" are still staggering. When you elect Joe Namath into the Hall of Fame, you have to "scaffold" over the fact that he lost more games than he won, and he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. John Elway had some marginal years. Terry Bradshaw fought for his starting job with John Gilliam. Bob Griese did not have a perfect season; Earl Morrall quarterbacked many of the 1972 Dolphin victories. Dan Fouts' career started poorly.

That is not to say that each one of the aforementioned quarterbacks does not belong in the hall of fame based on their outstanding accomplishments, it is just that every quarterback has merits to be in the hall of fame, and arguments against being in the hall of fame. I just think Anderson's body of work stands up as good as just about any other quarterback in the hall of fame when you look at all the factors.

Jason Lisk with The Big Lead most recently made the argument, taking the approach that Anderson simply didn't have the weapons around him, writing that he "played with fewer pro bowlers per year" compared to other Hall of Fame quarterbacks.

Anderson failed to make the Hall of Fame through the Pro Football Hall of Fame Senior Committee last August when they announced cornerback Jack Butler and guard Dick Stanfel to the 2012 class.

+ Pro Football Focus hinted at something we already suspected: Robert Geathers and Michael Johnson are two of the least productive pass rushers in the NFL. According to their charted statistics, it would seem like a reasonable conclusion.

However Johnson's case is a bit of a mystery that's been explored this offseason. During the first half of the season last year, Johnson generated 10 quarterback hurries and 2.5 quarterback sacks. Granted. That's not great, but he was often getting enough pressure from the edges. It wasn't until the final five games of the season that Michael Johnson's pass rushing scores really took a nose dive.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis previously hinted that Johnson was simply exhausted.

"He plays so hard. He played more snaps than anyone on our defensive front," Lewis said of Johnson. "We have to continue take some snaps off his plate so we can get that high level all the time. (Fanene and Rucker) took some (snaps), but not as many as we thought at the end of the day. Michael played through injury, he just kept playing, which showed how tough he was."

Johnson has reportedly put on weight; some suspecting that he's over 280 pounds. Carlos Dunlap also believes that he and Johnson can be one of the league's best tandems.

Either way Johnson is entering the final year under contract, so he has a lot to play for and much to prove.

+ Surprisingly our flashback post to a 2007 loss to the Buffalo Bills didn't turn into a rant against me for bringing the game up. In a twisted sense we like reflecting on games in the past, whether it's our reactions to those games or it's highlighted by something greater. If you guys like those type of posts, in between current projects, analysis, examinations and updates, we'd be more than willing to oblige.

+ We examined the reasons why one shouldn't expect Dre Kirkpatrick to start the first game of the season this year. It's not a matter of talent. And Cincinnati's roster at cornerback isn't so disastrous that it requires Kirkpatrick to develop quicker than he's able. Rather first-round rookies selected by the Bengals take a little time to become starters in the NFL. And by a little time, we really mean half-a-season.

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